Ilsa Bick's Reviews > Trigger

Trigger by Susan Vaught
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's review
Oct 03, 2011

really liked it

Yet another departure for me, this book was recommended by a friend. I have to admit that deciding to give any novel about a brain-injured kid a try was–for me–a little bit too much of a busman’s holiday, kind along the lines of MINDBLIND, come to think of it. Anyway, this is really quite an interesting book. Vaught’s a neuropsychologist and she knows her stuff; this novel about a suicidal young man, Jersey Hatch, who both didn’t quite succeed in killing himself–and yet did–was very involving. Vaught perfectly captures the frustrations and limitations of a seventeen-year-old boy and his less-than-perfect family both trying to cope with the aftermath of a failed suicide while not quite sure they want answers as to why Jersey might have thought suicide was an option. Jersey’s mind and body are so damaged that you wonder if, by saving his life, anyone did him any favors. Yet Jersey is fated to live and while this book makes you work to get at the meat–the same way Jersey must, every day–it is by concentrating on this boy’s struggles in the real world while figuring out what made this kid, with everything to live for, pull that trigger that this novel finds its legs.

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